AGENDA• Vocabulary Test #3• Review• Rhetorical Strategy Aphorism, Chiasmus• Writing Introductions: The Directed Summary• In-Class Writing: Aphorism, Chiasmus, and The Directed Summary• Work on your essay!
Review• Characteristics of your character • Seven or eight different methods• The prompt • One of five: or you have blended two or more• Working Thesis• Outline• Quotations• An analogy or two
RhetoricalStrategiesLearning to recognize them Learning to write them
Aphorism • An aphorism is a saying—a concise statement of a principle—that has been accepted as true. • Familiar example • “A penny saved is a penny earned” • There is no fool like an old fool”
Aphorisms•Such statements have important qualities: • The are pithy: they say a great deal in a few words. • They appear to contain wisdom: they are delivered as truth and they have the ring of other aphorisms we accept as true.
Method One• There is the ‘spontaneous combustion’ method, in which the aphorism flares out fully formed at unexpected moments, sending the writer scrabbling for napkins, envelopes or any other scrap of paper on which to write it down. Stanislaw Jerzy Lec was a great practitioner of this method: • No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible. Thanks to author and journalist James Geary for the information and examples of aphorisms: http://www.jamesgeary.com/blog/how-to-write-an-aphorism/
Method Two• Then there is the ‘deliberate composition’ method as practiced by the likes of La Rochefoucauld. He would attend a swanky salon, discuss all manner of subjects, such as love and friendship, then retire for hours to his room where he would produce several sheets of prose, all of which he would eventually distill down to one or two sharp, shining sentences: • In the adversity of even our best friends we always find something not wholly displeasing.
Method Three• And then there are the ‘accidental aphorists,’ those writers who never intend to compose aphorisms but just can’t help themselves— aphorisms occur naturally within longer stretches of text, such as essays, novels, or poems. Ralph Waldo Emerson was a classic accidental aphorist:• What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have yet to be discovered.
Rules to Consider•keep it short (after all, only a fool gives a speech in a burning house),•definitive (no ifs, ands, or buts),•philosophical (it should make you think), and give it a twist.
Not fancy, just thoughtful• What is a bastard? A man whose birth right overshadows his human rights.• Bravery conquers fear; otherwise, it is stupidity.• If Arya cannot save herself, she cannot hope to be saved.
Give it a try: Choose a word and write a short, pointed statement expressing a truth, doctrine, or principle.• Power • Bastard Example: Marriage• Execution • Winter A lottery in which men• Death • Brave stake their liberty and women• Betrayal • Fear their happiness. -- Madame DiRieux• Prostitution • Throne• Hostage • Honor One long conversation, checkered by disputes. -- Robert Louis Stevenson
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED)defines chiasmus as, "A grammaticalfigure by which the order of wordsin one of two of parallel clauses isinverted in the other.” This mayinvolve a repetition of the samewords ("Pleasures a sin, andsometimes sins a pleasure" —Byron) or just a reversed parallelbetween two corresponding pairsof ideas. Chiasmus
•The word goes back to the ancient Greeks and their fascination with language and rhetoric. The "chi" comes from chi, the letter "X" in the Greek alphabet. The word itself comes from the Greek word khiasmos, meaning "crossing." Khiasmos, in turn, is derived from the Greek word khiazein, meaning "to mark with an X."
Simple Grammatical ChiasmusA reversed order of the grammar in two or more clauses in asentence will yield a chiasmus.Consider the example of a parallel sentence: “He knowingly led and we blindly followed”Inverting into chiasmus: “He knowingly led and we followed blindly”
From Writing with Clarity and style: Chapter 1 by Robert A. Harris
Try these two• Parallelism: Arya trains Nymeria daily and plays with her happily• Parallelism: When Jon Snow arrives at the wall, he seems happy enough, but when the arms master treats him badly, he is frustrated and angry.
Here are two possibilities• Parallelism: Arya trains Nymeria daily and plays with her happily• Chiasmus: Arya trains Nymeria daily and happily plays with her• Parallelism: When Jon Snow arrives at the wall, he seems happy enough, but when the arms master treats him badly, he is frustrated and angry.• Chiasmus: When Jon Snow arrives at the wall, he seems happy enough, but he is frustrated and angry when the arms master treats him badly.
Try it!• Write a couple of sentences using chiasmus instead of parallelism.• Try writing new sentences.• Look for some sentences in your writing that will lend themselves to chiasmus.
• One of the most fascinating features of chiasmus is this "marking with an X" notion. Take Mae Wests signature line, "Its not the men in my life, its the life in my men." By laying out the two clauses parallel to each other, its possible to draw two lines connecting the key words: Its not the men in my life X its the life in my men. Thanks to author and psychologist Dr. Mardy Grothe for the information and examples of chiasmus http://www.drmardy.com/chiasmus/definition.shtml
Word Reversal Chiasmus Home is where the great are small X and the small are greatOne should eat to live X not live to eat
The ABBA MethodOne other interesting way to view chiastic quotes is theABBA method. Lets go back to the Mae West quote. Ifyou assign the letters A and B to the first appearance ofthe key words and A and B (read "A prime" and "Bprime") to their second appearance, they follow what isreferred to as an ABBA pattern:A Its not the men B in my life B its the lifeA in my men
Chiasmus can be achieved by reversing morethan two key words. This observation from the18th century English writer, Charles CalebColton, is a good example:"How strange it is that we of the present dayare constantly praisingthat past age which our fathers abused,and as constantly abusing that present age,which our children will praise.”
Word ReversalLaid out schematically, it looks like this: A How strange it is that we of the present dayare constantly praising B that past age C which our fathers abused, C and as constantly abusing B that present age, A which our children will praise
Another good example comes fromGenesis 9:6: A Whoever sheds B the blood C of man C by man shall B his blood A be shed
Phrase Reversal• "Lust is what makes you keep wanting to do it, even when you have no desire to be with each other. Love is what makes you keep wanting to be with each other, even when you have no desire to do it."• — Judith Viorst
More Examples• "We do not stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." -- Benjamin Franklin• "The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence." -- Carl Sagan• “All for one and one for all” --Alexandre Dumas• "I am stuck on Band-Aid, and Band-Aids stuck on me." (advertising jingle for Band-Aid bandages)
Letter Reversal• "A magician is a person who pulls rabbits out of hats. An experimental psychologist is a person who pulls habits out of rats.”• "a doe and fawn" hide from "their foe at dawn."
Sound Reversal•"Id rather have a bottle in front of me Than a frontal lobotomy."— Randy Hanzlick, title of song
Reversal of Homonyms• "Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?” — Richard Lederer• "Heres champagne for our real friends and real pain for our sham friends.” — Edwardian Toast
Number Reversal• "A lawyer starts life giving $500 worth of law for $5 and ends giving $5 worth for $500.” — Benjamin H. Brewster• "Errol Flynn died on a 70-foot boat with a 17- year-old girl. Walter has always wanted to go that way, but hes going to settle for a 17-footer with a 70-year-old. — Betsy Maxwell Cronkite, wife of Walter Cronkite.
Review and Practice: Try to use words and phrases that link to your character• Word Reversal: One should eat to live not live to eat• Phrase Reversal: Lust: keep wanting to do it, no desire to be with each other: Love: keep wanting to be with each other, even when you have no desire to do it.• Letter Reversal: Rabbits out of hats: habits out of rats• Sound Reversal: Bottle in front of me: frontal lobotomy• Reversal of Homonyms: Drive on a parkway: park on a driveway• Number Reversal: 70’ boat 17 year old girl: 17’ boat 70 year old woman
Directed Summary• A directed summary provides readers of your paper with the information they need to understand your argument and explanation.• State the title and author of the literary work near the beginning of the first paragraph, perhaps in the first sentence. This is essential so that the reader knows which work you are discussing.
• Hook the reader. In the first sentences, write what is particularly interesting about the work. This thought- provoking information must also be relevant to the topic you will discuss in your essay.• Assume that the reader is familiar with the work about which you are writing. Do not include too much plot summary in the introduction or in the rest of the essay. Do include the part of the story that will support your thesis. This might or might not include some aspect of your character description
• Use transitions throughout the introduction. Because there are so many aspects of the work that have to be included, the introduction can end up fragmented and confusing. Make sure that it makes sense on its own as a paragraph. Clearly transition from your introduction into your thesis.• State the thesis near the end of the introduction (your introduction might be more than one paragraph). The thesis should clearly state what the essay will analyze/assert/argue and should be very specific.
In-Class Writing• Begin your directed summary.• Consider what details you must include to prepare the reader for your essay.• Try funneling your introduction, that is, narrowing your topic as you summarize the relevant parts of the story. The thesis will be the neck of the funnel and will direct the reader to your specific argument.
Homework• Read A Game of Thrones through page 700• Post # 12: In-class writing: Examples of aphorism and chiasmus• Post #13: Directed summary introduction with thesis statement. Include your outline with quotations. Explain some of your quotations.